Calls have been made to open Cork’s park and ride facility during big sporting events to minimise parking chaos in the city.
City councillors urged officials to examine the possibility of making the 900-space Black Ash car park available to fans attending GAA, rugby, and soccer games following more complaints about indiscriminate parking in residential areas around Páirc Uí Rinn GAA stadium in Ballintemple during an U21 football clash between Cork and Kerry on Wednesday, and during Sunday’s Allianz hurling league clash between Cork and Tipperary.
More games are scheduled this weekend. Gardaí have stepped up enforcement and are issuing fines and towing cars. However, Fianna Fáil councillors Seán Martin and Terry Shannon said that despite the Garda crackdown, and efforts by Cork County Board to encourage match patrons to park responsibly, illegal parking is still a major issue in the residential areas during big games.
And they warned that parking problems are only going to get worse when the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh opens this summer.
Mr Martin said the park and ride facility is within walking distance of Musgrave Park and Cork City FC’s Turner’s Cross ground, and that a bus could bring fans to Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
He said it must be part of a major traffic management plan to be agreed before Páirc Uí Chaoimh re-opens: “We have an underused park and ride facility which is costing the city around €250,000 a year to run. City Hall needs to take a lead on this, and sit down with the various sporting bodies and agree a traffic plan.
“We own the main property which could help ease the problem, and I know that other sporting clubs in the area could be approached to use their grounds for parking too.”
Mr Shannon backed the proposal and said it would provide the city with income and minimise parking problem: “The park and ride is the obvious choice.”
Mr Martin said as part of the work, officials should also consider developing parking spaces for camper vans at the park and ride.
And Mr Shannon called for a feasibility study to examine the reopening of an underpass, which runs from the park and ride car park, under the South Link Rd, directly into Tramore Valley Park.
It is understood the OPW blocked efforts last year to use the underpass for pedestrian access, on health and safety grounds. That decision has affected the new park’s ability to host several fun runs.
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